Legal Information: District of Columbia

Know the Laws - By State

Please see below for state-specific laws that might be useful for victims and survivors of domestic violence. This information is written in a Q & A format and is meant to provide you with easy-to-understand information. You can also reach us at our Email Hotline if you have more specific questions.

A brief description of the difference between state laws and federal laws.

Information about civil protection orders, anti-stalking orders, extreme risk protection orders, and moving in and out of state with a protection order.

Information about custody in D.C.

Information about child support in D.C.

This page addresses some general (not state-specific) laws of one parent taking a child out of the state or country, without the other parent’s consent.

Basic information about divorce in Washington, D.C.

Information about housing-related protections for victims of domestic violence.

Confidentiality laws for victims at a shelter or on a hotline.

Information about crimes the abuser may have committed in the District of Columbia and victim assistance programs.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, it may be illegal for the abuser to buy or have a gun.

You may have a right to sue an abuser for medical costs, lost wages, and to recover your property.

WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.